Most people really don’t have any answer to this question, or any idea even what an acupuncture needle is.
I keep a list of challenges that inspire me to expand my potential. Last year there was one in particular that inspired me and motivated me to take action.
Meet and become liked by 50 people who will most benefit your business.
In 2011 I set a goal to expand my circle of influence within my local community by doing speaking engagements about acupuncture to local organizations. Well, I’ve reached the goal, and looking back, a lot happened that I didn’t expect…
- that most people really have no idea what acupuncture is, or more importantly, if it can help them.
- that there are more opportunities available to speak with people than I expected.
- that it’s not as frightening as I expected, because I know so much about the topic, and…
- that this has pumped my practice so full of patients, I don’t know what to do with myself.
To reach this goal of mine, I started by asking my patients if they were involved in organizations that needed speakers. Next, I found a local business networking group, I joined and attended meetings, and I asked everyone in my group to help me to book my calendar with no-cost speaking events. Ask and ye shall receive! This approach worked wonders and I was invited as a guest speaker to multiple local events throughout the year.
Public speaking has been a very effective way to build relationships in my community. When you use public speaking to your advantage it is easy to establish yourself as an expert in your field and also get new patients. Many organizations are looking for someone interesting to come and talk to their group. Acupuncture is VERY interesting! Come up with some great stories, facts, and statistics that relate to their organization and you’re set.
Want to see these same results in your practice? Follow this outline and you will be successful:
#1: Join a networking group….
- Every week you get a chance to talk a little bit about your business. You don’t get much time to speak, but if you use your time effectively, the information that you share becomes accumulative and your audience will eventually remember a lot about your business and become a great source of referrals.
- Think of your business as a pie. Slice it into 52 slices and share a little bit each week, eventually your group will have a really good understanding about what you do and it will be easy for them to refer patients to you.
- Teach the people in your networking group how to find patients for you by educating them about the type of patients that you are looking for. The referrals will come.
- Tell your networking group that you are looking for speaking opportunities and let them help to find them for you.
#2: Establish yourself as an EXPERT…
- What type of patients do you treat often? Find organizations that fit this population and volunteer your time with them. Offer to come and do a lecture or become a sponsor for one of their events.
- Ask your patients what organizations they belong to. I have spoken about Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Weight Loss, Pregnancy, Infertility, and Depression in the last several months–just because my patients see me as an expert. You can easily choose a number of specialties and then immerse yourself in their communities.
- Create a biography about yourself and send it to the leader of the group before you get there. Hearing your biography before you speak helps to set you apart as someone with authority.
#3: Create your presentation beforehand…
- The hardest part is coming up with a PowerPoint presentation. Learn from me. Instead of panicking, use the resource that we have available to you. Panic Mode is a blog post that I wrote last year about PowerPoint.
- Do you need help creating a power point presentation? We’ve got you covered. In fact, we can help you on several levels. Our MultiMedia Marketing Package can be purchased individually or as a package deal. You can instantly be ready with a power point presentation because we have done the work for you. If you want to add a personal touch–I did it in only 30 minutes. I bet you could too! See the footer of this message for more details about these products.
#4: Have something interesting to share…
- You will usually be asked to present for 15-30 minutes. I try to break my presentation into three 10-minute increments.
- Always make sure to leave some time for questions and answers. This is where the presentations get really fun. You never know what questions people will ask. When you share examples of patients that you have treated, the audience begins to relate to you on a personal level.
- I like to bring a sample of needles and the crowd really loves it. A piece of fruit or vegetable in the season is a really great way to display an array of needles.
- Of course, bringing my AcuGraph is always a hit as well.
#5: Ask for more teaching opportunities…
- Never quit asking so that you will always have future speaking engagements on your calendar.
By following these five steps you will be well known as an expert in your community and you will have a steady flow of new patients. This isn’t all. I left out one key step to really maximize this opportunity… Leave a comment and let me know what you think I left out and I’ll follow up soon… OR: do you have personal examples of how you have expanded your circle of influence in relation to acupuncture? Tell us about it in the comments. We’re all anxious to hear!
For me, the hardest part was setting the goal. I can’t do that for you… But, if you follow my steps above, just about everything else will be easy. Let’s all make 2012 a year to expand ourselves while we educate our communities. Have a great week!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst
Miridia Technology Inc.
P.S.> Here are some products that can really help you along the way:
AcuGraph/Acupuncture Patient Education DVD
A fantastic DVD for your waiting room!
AcuGraph/Acupuncture PowerPoint Presentation
Your public speaking presentation already made, personalize this with your information and you’re an instant expert.